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Hep C, Stage 4 Cirrhosis - life expectancy
Oct 12, 2007

My husband 55, yr old, 1 yr ago diagnosed with Hep C, St 4 Cirrhosis, tx 8 weeks, labs crashed and had to stop, success rate for treatment is 20%, what is his life expectancy? I am 40 and need to at least be prepared within myself. PLEASE RESPOND!!

Response from Dr. McGovern

There are several important issues: 1. Your husband should be under the care of a hepatologist. 2. He should have evaluation for possible varices. If these are found then he should undergo further treatment with beta blockers. 3. He should have immunizations for HAV and HBV, if not immune 4. He should avoid all alcohol.

Patients with cirrhosis can live many years as long as their disease is compensated. ONce a patient develops decompensated disease (eg, confusion, fluid in the belly etc.) life expectancy does decline. That is why it is important to be very careful about any insults to the liver. Also newer therapies for the liver are being developed and hopefully will be available to him in the years to come.

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